Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Life and writing

Not so long ago I went for an interview with the director of playwright sponsoring and training scheme here in Scotland. She's a lovely lady and very easy to talk too. Our interview took place in a graveyard. There were little plastic seats and there was tea and a small cafe, but I found myself repositioning my chair so as not to be on the edge of what I had taken to be a rather large paving slab, but on closer inspection clearly had 'dearly beloved' inscribed upon it. Now it might have been the perspective altering situation (carrot cake and coffin anyone?). It might have been the pleasantness of my interviewer. Or it may simply have been that generally I am pretty open about my life to date. But near the end of the interview my questioner took a deep breath and said, "Well, you certainly have a good seam of experience to mine."

She said it kindly, but in a never mind things will get better sort of a way. Now, I don't think I'm having a bad life. A great deal of my life (including hewhoshallbenameless and our offspring) is quite wonderful. But anyone who does know me in real life will know there have been the odd bump in the road - my diagnosis of having MS being one of them. In fact if I fly off into the air in my virtual helicopter of imagination and look down at the road I am choosing to follow and have followed there are quite a few bumps. But they're bumps, not dead-ends, not charmingly little cul-de-sacs of mind numbing suburbia, not huge great maws of hell belching flame onto my feet - such as we read every day in the news some poor innocent is experiencing. I seem (on some metaphysical level) to have taken the mandate of 'a little and often' when it comes to incidents into my life.

Sometimes it feels like I hardly ever get a moment to draw breath and add this to the very normal demands of two small children and a house that will never be tidy and life inside my head can be one barely sub-light blur.

And this is how I know I'm a writer. 

Not because stuff happens to me - yes, my interviewer was right it does give me more to write about, but because despite stuff happening when I can't get to write at length I'm making notes. When I can't get to make physical notes I'm making mental ones. Because despite whatever crazy odd shaped bumpy bit I'm thrown nothing stops me writing.

For me, writing is an incurable condition.

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